Law firms can now use “.org”

The web is changing. First, everyone wanted to use "com" in their web address.  The .com world became crowded, so we saw .biz, .net and others come onto the scene.

The .org generally was reserved for non-profit organizations … But, now the Arizona Bar says that it’s o.k. to use .org for profit-making organizations as well.  This reverses an earlier Arizona state bar ethics panel decision (Arizona Ethics Op. 01-05 (2001)) that had found the use of the suffix ".org" by for-profit law firms would mislead consumers. This most recent opinion, (Arizona State Bar Committee on Rules of Professional Conduct, Op. 11-04), finds that the ".org" suffix is now more widely used by for-profits such that consumers of legal services will no longer be misled.

The cynic might say that the neighborhood has become so crowded that economic forces command that .org be available for everyone, profit and non-profit.  My question is who is running the madhouse? Is this the Wild West where anything and everything goes? There was some comfort in knowing that .org was an institution or non-profit. But, since the world is upside down anyway in the last few years, why not the internet and web addresses?

Still, .com is the preferred suffix … But, then, why do we need a suffix of any kind? It just means more letters have to be typed. While we’re not cutting trees to write the extra 4 characters, we are using our energy (means we have to eat more to have energy to move our fingers more), we might encounter more finger strain (carpal tunnel syndrome), and other yet to be determined maladies. Where are the real reformers when we need them?


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